A Tough Decision...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by tx_cowgirl, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Over the last few months, I have been trying my best to retrain Zeke. When he was a pup, he thrived on praise training. He could care less about food, and despite my attempt at treat training, he did much better with praise. He was wonderfully focused on me throughout training sessions, and he literally taught himself to off-leash heel. We battled some separation anxiety issues, and he was always quite timid despite careful socialization. Puppyhood hit him and slowly his attention span began to grow shorter and shorter. Training became harder. I gave him some time off, and hoped neutering would help some. Now two years old, we've been trying again at his training. It's difficult because his attention span is almost non-existant. I took it very easy at the start with the basics--sit, down, stay, etc. He would do these on command just fine, but I started with these anyway. Once again, I tried clicker training. He had no interest in food still. I tried a variety of different treats and foods, but to no avail. I actually had to teach him that food was a reward. I praised him when he paid attention long enough to finish a tiny treat. This was a breakthrough in training, but still he didn't do well with it. Since he LOVES to play fetch, I switched to rewarding him with the ball. He had a big breakthrough with this, and his training has been going well. He didn't take an interest in fetching toys until we got Mud, which is why I never tried to reward him with toys before.
    Anyway, despite the fact that his training is slowly but surely improving, I simply don't have time for him. He came from working stock, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Many dogs from working stock can be perfectly happy dogs with plenty of exercise, play, and training. Zeke's not one of them. When I get the chance, I do a few agility exercises with him because he loves it. He would make an excellent agility, flyball, or herding dog. He needs a job, which I can't give him. We can run and play and train until both of us are worn out, but he's still not happy. He wants a job; he wants to work. So, I've come to the conclusion that I need to find my boy a working home. I hate to give him up, but I know that he would be much happier if he had a job. So, my home will soon be one dog less. Mud will miss him terribly...once stock show season is over and things slow down, I might start looking for a Border Collie pup. I'm not sure yet. Right now my main concern is just finding Zeke a good home.

  2. emmasmamma Guest

    I'm sorry to hear this news, but I can tell that you have put a lot of thought into it and are doing it for Zeke's happiness. Still this is not easy for you, I'm sure and my thoughts are with you. Let us know when you find him a home and keep us updated on his new life!
  3. kujo3405 New Member

    Im terribly sorry to hear that. I know how hard it can be to give up a beloved friend and companion. I recently lost my bassethound to what we think was cancer. It was a very hard loss but it is not the same as what you have to do. At least you know whatever home you find you can be sure that it will be the right one. I wish you luck in finding him his new forever home. Best wishes!!!
  4. Jean Cote Administrator

    Ah that sucks, he sounds like a really nice dog, althought he might not be super star material. :( How many dogs do you have tx_cowgirl?
  5. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Thank you all. :)
    There are four in my household, but technically three are mine(Mud, Rusty, and Z). Nick(the teacup Chihuahua) is my mother's. Mud was supposed to be my brother's, and I ended up being the one who took care of her. He took no interest in her, and then he moved out, and I told him she wasn't going with him. She's much happier here(and I'm much happier with her).
    Zeke can focus all of his attention on an agility course, a flock of sheep(or cattle, or horses), or on a flyball box and some jumps. But otherwise, it's difficult getting his attention on me. He's extremely intelligent and learns quickly...the trick is getting his focus. ^^ He's very loving, and other than just needing a job I can't complain about him. Anywho...Kujo, my apologies about your bassett. Thank you everyone for your comments. :dogsmile:
  6. l_l_a New Member

    Don't feel bad about the decision Tx-Cowgirl, it is the right and responsible decision. You have put in your absolute best for Zeke. You have considered the facts and come to the conclusion that Zeke really really needs a different day-to-day environment. that's a very tough choice. Many people in that situation would refuse to acknowledge that and their dogs would not be happy with them. It takes a bigger person to recognize and acknowledge that this is in the dog's best interest.
  7. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Thank you |_|_a. :) That's what I keep telling myself. If I didn't remember that it's in his best interest, I don't think I could part with him.
  8. l_l_a New Member

    maybe you will be able to find a home for him that is near to where you live so can continue to visit him! Or, when you find a new home for him make them sign a contract promising that they will start and regularly update an online blog about him! heck, have his new owners join this forum! (part of the contract)
  9. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol, that's a good idea! I will definitely make sure they keep in contact and alert me if he is rehomed for any reason. I want him to come straight back to me if they decide they don't want him. Otherwise...well, who knows where he'll end up. I'm going to post an ad on PetFinder, and I have a few people around here who know agility/flyball competitors, and a stock dog trainer who will know if anyone is looking for a ranch dog. I am definitely going to make sure his new owner keeps me informed. =)
  10. fyre New Member

    Aww, i know how it must feel! I came very close to losing Happy soon after i got him. It had only been a month about, but i was so attached. It must be so hard for you, but i am glad that you are being so responsible and smart, I dont think i would have it in me! Well good luck in finding him a nice new home, and hopefully you'll get to visit him often.
  11. marieke New Member

    I'm so sorry for you but what lla said is true: you made the right decision however difficult it is. You're a star for putting Zeke's interest first in stead of your own.
  12. heidib860 New Member

    My heart goes out to you tx cowgirl. What a defficult decision, but you have his best interest in mind. Hopefully you can find a home that's close so you can still visit him.

    Right after Christimas we had to put my Bassett down. The hardest decision I've had to make. It still hurts. Fortunately getting Max has helped.

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